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Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB (2016-)

1 x 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC



Brief Summary

The Sealegs 7.1 Sport RIB is a truly unique multi-purpose watercraft, with three fold-down wheels and an auxiliary 22-hp air-cooled internal engine that makes it capable of launching and retrieving itself on nearly any beach. With the wheels up, it performs like a conventional RIB -- powered by a 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC, it ran 44.2 mph in our tests. The heavy gauge aluminum hull is made to rest on the sand, allowing the boat to be kept at ready for a quick launch through surf as a rescue vessel -- or simply to act as a go-anywhere tender for a large yacht. It is ideal for people who own waterfront homes.

Key Features

  • Evinrude 150HP E-TEC outboard
  • Fusion marine stereo
  • Simrad Go7 GPS chartplotter/fishfinder
  • Simrad VHF radio
  • Boarding ladder
  • Dual floodlights
  • Helm backrest
  • Anchor

Test Results

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM dBa
600 3.5 3 0.2 17.5 15.22 740 644 71
1000 5.3 4.6 0.55 9.55 8.3 404 351 73
1500 7.1 6.2 1.1 6.45 5.61 273 237 74
2000 9.3 8.1 2.85 3.26 2.84 138 120 78
2500 12.6 11 4.45 2.83 2.46 120 104 82
3000 19.1 16.6 5.35 3.56 3.1 151 131 86
3500 25 21.7 5.95 4.19 3.65 177 154 85
4000 30.2 26.2 7.5 4.02 3.5 170 148 87
4500 35.6 31 10 3.56 3.1 151 131 91
5000 39.6 34.4 13.05 3.03 2.64 128 112 93
5500 44.2 38.4 15.45 2.86 2.48 121 105 95
sealegs_7.1msportrib_chart_16.jpg

Specifications

Length Overall 23' 5'' / 7.13 m
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Dry Weight 3,065 lbs.
1,390 kg
Tested Weight 4,044 lbs.
1,834 kg
Draft 18''
0.46 m
Deadrise/Transom N/A
Max Headroom open
Bridge Clearance 7' 10''
2.40 m (max)
Fuel Capacity 47 gal.
178 L
Water Capacity N/A
Total Weight 4,044 lbs.
1,834 kg

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 4.0 sec.
0 to 30 7.8 sec.
Ratio 1.85:1
Props Viper 14 3/4 x 17" ss 3-blade
Load 2 person, 1/2 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 75 deg., 65 humid.; wind: 5-10 mph; seas: 1-2

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC
Std. Power Not Available
Opt. Power 1 x 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC outboard
1 x 22-hp Honda engine

Captain's Report

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB running shot

The Sealegs Recreational 7.1M Sport RIB measures 23’3” (7.13 m) with an 8’6” (2.59 m) beam and she runs 44.2 mph when powered by a 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC outboard.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB running shot

The only craft of its kind has a second engine powering the all-wheel-drive system so owners can drive it right up onto the beach.

Mission Statement

Sealegs Recreational designed the 7.1m Sport RIB to be a true amphibious multi-purpose craft. On the water, she’s a 23’3” (7.13 m) rigid hull inflatable powered by an Evinrude E-TEC 150-hp outboard. When the time comes to hit the beach or pull up onto a sandbar, she has an air-cooled 24-hp motor that powers a hydraulic transmission that drives two rear wheels and a single bow wheel with all-terrain tires. She was designed specifically for people with beachfront houses who want to drive their boat directly into the water whenever the spirit moves them. When the day’s boating is done, the wheels hydraulically lower and the boat drives out of the water onto the owner’s property. This eliminates the need for a marina slip and the time wasted getting there.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB running shot

With the wheels tucked up and out of the way, the 7.1m Sport Rib is every bit the real boat with space for up to eight passengers.

Distinguishing Features

Amphibious Enablement System (AES).

The turnkey amphibious package includes all-wheel drive with a hydraulic transmission powered by a 24-hp Honda air-cooled engine. It has an automatic braking system and power steering for land and water. The legs for the wheels are heat-treated cast alloy for marine use and the heavy-duty lift system is made in-house for long life.

Aluminum Hull.

A one-piece alloy hull guarantees durability on rocky shore landings.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB wheels

Sealegs makes the heavy-duty arms for the wheels in-house out of 6000 Series aluminum with custom 316L stainless-steel hydraulic rams.

Major Features

  • Fusion marine stereo
  • Chartplotter/fishfinder
  • VHF radio
  • Custom stainless-steel boarding ladder
  • Dual floodlights recessed into the bow

Features Inspection

The Cockpit.

The 7.1m Sport RIB’s beam includes the inflatable 21” diameter Hypalon tubes on each side, but the boat’s interior still has a deceptive amount of seating. Aft, there’s a small cushion on top of the splash well with a stainless steel grabrail forward. Just ahead of this seat is another two-person bench atop a molded aluminum base. It has a roll-style backrest. Forward of this seat, the Honda engine is housed in a ventilated console beneath the helm seat, which has a clever aft-facing bar that can act as a restraint for small kids. There are grab handles on the tubes outboard on each side.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB aft seat

The aft seat is more of a leaning cushion and there’s a stainless steel grabrail forward.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB back rest

Ahead, this bench has a rolled backrest that passengers can lean back against.

 

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB bar

The stainless-steel bar on the aft side of the helm seat is a secure place for kids to sit and have mom keep an eye on them when underway.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB windshield

The captain can sit down to drive and be protected from spray behind the acrylic windshield.

The Helm.

The 7.1m Sport RIB’s helm has the Evinrude I-Command multi-function gauge and the controls for the outboard and for the AES in a well-organized aluminum console. The builder has thoughtfully placed the steering wheel and engine controls to starboard because it leaves space for a companion at the compact helm. The Lowrance MDS7 chartplotter is to port ahead of the accessory switches and the VHF radio is just below. A windshield keeps the spray and wind off the driver and a companion. Down low, all of the boat’s circuit breakers and battery switches are housed in a compartment in the base of the helm. To keep both batteries topped off, the charging system switches between them automatically.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB helm

The 7.1m Sport RIB’s dash panel has the controls for two different operational systems intelligently laid out.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB dash

One reason why the dash is so uncluttered is that the Evinrude I-Command provides so much information in one multi-function gauge.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB digital throttle

The digital shift and throttle control for the outboard is in comfortable reach on the side of the aluminum console.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB switches

Rocker-style switches on the left side of the dash panel raise and lower the wheels and notice the 12-volt power plug tucked in next to the VHF radio.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB breakers

All of the circuit breakers and the battery switch are protected in this compartment in the base of the helm.

The Bow.

On the front side of the console, we found a one-person bench. There’s another aft-facing seat in the bow, where the tubes create a natural wraparound backrest and there are two sets of grab handles in reach from the console bench and bow seat.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB console seat

The seat on the front of the console has a snap-down bottom cushion and a backrest pad and there are grab handles in each on the tubes.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB wrap around cushion

With the tubes creating a natural wraparound cushion, the bow seat could be the most comfortable on the boat.

Access and Storage.

A hatch in the 7.1m Sport RIB’s sole just ahead of the outboard provides access to mechanical equipment. There’s another hatch abaft the helm seat in the sole that accesses dry storage and one in the bow that serves the same purpose.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB

This shallow locker ahead of the helm console would be a good place to stash dock lines.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB storage

There’s more space in the base of the console seat as evidenced by the stack of lifejackets in this photo.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB deck locker

This under-deck locker is just ahead of the transom and its hatch closes on a gasket-lined opening to keep out water.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB hatch

This hatch in the stern opens to provide access to mechanical equipment.

Construction.

To ensure that the 7.1m Sport RIB will survive frequent beachings and landings, the hull is stamped from a single sheet of marine-grade aluminum. It’s supported by stringers and bulkheads placed every 18” and welded in place. They form an internal structure strong enough to give the boat a 1,543-lb. (700-kg) capacity. The legs for the rear and bow wheels looked like they are designed for the long haul with heavy-duty aluminum castings and stainless steel fittings for the hydraulic lines. The 9-gallon (34-L) hydraulic reservoir is beneath a removable panel in the cockpit decking. The tubes are Hypalon and they glue to the hull.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB

Because it’s designed to sit on the bottom on the beach, Sealegs doesn’t paint the 7.1m Sport RIB’s aluminum hull below the chines.

Power and Performance

The 7.1m Sport RIB we tested was powered by a 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC outboard turning a 14 ¾” x 17” three-blade stainless steel propeller through a 1.85:1 reduction. With two people, about a half-tank of fuel, and test equipment, our boat weighed 4,044 lbs. (1,834 kg). We recorded a top speed of 44.2 mph at 5500 rpm.

Best cruise came at 3500 rpm where we ran 25 mph and burned 5.95 gph, resulting in a range of 177 statute miles with 10% of the boat’s 47-gallon (178 L) fuel capacity in reserve.

In acceleration tests, we planed in 4.0 seconds and ran to 20 mph in 5.6 seconds and to 30 mph in 7.8 seconds.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB running shot

The 7.1m Sport RIB rode smoothly through a 2’ chop with the tubes cushioning the ride.

Handling and Ride.

We tested the 7.1m Sport RIB in 2’ to 4’ (.61 m to 1.22 m) seas and in 10 to 15-mph winds that were challenging for boats 10’ (3.05 m) longer. We were impressed by the boat’s ride. The tubes dampened the ride in the waves and the wheels had no effect on turning. We cranked hard turns in each direction and the boat felt smooth and stable.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB running shot

Owners who need to bust through the surf to get back to their beach home can rest assured that the 7.1m Sport RIB is up to the task.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB running shot

In smooth conditions, she’s fun to drive and even in hard turns, the rear wheels stay up and out of the way.

How it Operates

When it was time to take the 7.1m Sport RIB on the beach, we start the air-cooled Honda engine and lowered the bow wheel. Owners approaching a strange beach can use the bow wheel to find any unseen obstructions. Once the bow wheel touched bottom, we lowered the rear wheels and engaged the all-wheel drive. Then we turned off the outboard and raised it. A Morse control lever on the left side of the console engages the all-wheel drive and the speed is controlled with a lever on the starboard side. The steering wheel controls the outboard and the bow wheel. The vehicle can climb a 30% grade. Once on the beach, owners can lower the aluminum hull right onto the ground to make it easy to step off. For easy cleanups, lower the bow wheel to pick up the nose and hose out the cockpit. All of the water will wash to the stern.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB beached shot

With her all-terrain tires and hydraulic drive system, the 7.1m Sport RIB pulls up onto a beach with ease.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB lean

Once she’s on the beach, the captain can use the wheels to lean the boat on one side or the other to make it easier to step on or off.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB profile

The rear wheels can also be partially lowered to act as kickstands to stabilize the boat when it’s on dry land.

Price

$129,000 with a single Evinrude E-TEC 150 2-stroke outboard.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB outboard

The 2-stroke Evinrude E-TEC 150 delivers a good mix of torque and fuel economy.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB wheel engine

The air-cooled 24-hp Honda engine that powers the wheels is under the helm seat.

Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB aerial

The Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIB is the only yacht tender that an owner can use to run to shore and drive to the chandlery for provisions.

Available Options and Price

  • Galvanized anchor with chain and 50m of nylon rope ($190)
  • Boarding ladder ($990)
  • Saltwater washdown ($990)
  • Stainless-steel Bimini ($1,740)
  • 12V Automatic inflation pump ($240)

Observations

Most of the Sealegs 7.1m Sport RIBs that have been sold have gone to waterfront homeowners who like to drive them right up onto their property. This could be especially advantageous to those who live in an area with extreme tides. It could also be good for people who like to explore sandbars and go clamming or crabbing. Sealegs also has a commercial division and all of the boats are built to the same specifications whether they’re going to a commercial or recreational customer so longevity and re-sale shouldn’t be an issue. The Sealegs 7.1m is built in New Zealand where rigged surf and challenging coastal waters is an everyday occurrence. The boats are sold world-wide.